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Qld coal mine expansion given go-ahead

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Source: MINING.com, April 30, 2019

A thermal coal mine west of Brisbane has been given state government approval to bump its production from 2.8 million tonnes a year to 3.5 million.



Queensland Mines Minister Anthony Lynham has told parliament he gave the go ahead for the expansion of Yancoal's Cameby Downs open cut colliery near Miles last week.



Dr Lynham says the move will create up to 20 new jobs and extend the mine's production to 75 years.



"This announcement comes after news the mothballed Gregory Crinum Mine northeast of Emerald is set to put on up to 300 workers in its underground and open cut operations by the end of the year," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told parliament on Tuesday.



The state government has a target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 and regularly touts its efforts to attract investment in renewable resource projects.



Gas projects and solar farms have sprung up across the state and the government has made moves to support the take-up of electric cars.



But it has for years been plagued by questions about whether it supports and will approve Indian mining firm Adani's plans to mine thermal coal in central Queensland.



That project has attracted widespread controversy and now needs state government sign-off on environmental management plans before construction can start.



Those plans are under consideration by Queensland's Department of Environment and Science.



Deputy Premier Jackie Trad has cited potential threats to the state's water resources if the mine goes ahead.



It comes as former Greens leader Bob Brown leads a convoy of anti-Adani protesters from Tasmania to Rockhampton.



The mine itself looms large in the election campaigns of both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Labor leader Bill Shorten and had a major impact during the 2017 state election.



Dr Lynham announced in February four coal exploration companies would soon begin looking for new deposits in the Bowen and Surat basins.



Meanwhile, co-ordinated project status was granted to the proposed $1 billion Winchester South metallurgical coal mine in the Bowen Basin earlier this month.

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